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The Dangers of Chemistry

Recently during my coaching calls with clients and in speaking with friends, the subject of chemistry or “connection” has been a topic of discussion. As we all have experienced at some point in our lives, being connected with someone of the opposite sex is such an ecstatic feeling! All healthy relationships require connection and chemical attraction, as they are essential ingredients for fulfilling relationships.

Studies have shown that when we are in the beginning passion-filled stages of a relationship, aka the “honeymoon” or “smitten” phase, our minds and bodies experience an increase of chemicals that induce the feeling of euphoria. The primary three chemicals that make us feel love-struck are: norepinephrine, dopamine and serotonin. An increase of these chemicals in the brain has the following effects: heightening of senses, increase in heart rate, decrease in appetite, increased energy and sex drive, intense happiness. The most fascinating part is that researches have also found that the physiological responses that occur when we are in love are the same as when a person is high on drugs, such as cocaine and ecstasy. The same part of the brain that certain drugs activate to make you feel blissful is the same area that is affected when people experience intense attraction. This is why we get addicted to the chemistry we feel with another person.

The Dangers of Chemistry

So what does this all mean and why does it matter? Because our brain chemistry changes when we are in love or feel connected to someone romantically, the intense feelings can really cause us to overlook important details, especially in the beginning phases of a relationship. On a subconscious level, we are romantically attracted to another person based on the patterns of conditioning we have stored in our nervous system. By the term “conditioning,” I mean thoughts, feelings and beliefs we picked up from an early age through our families, friends or society and personalized it to mean something about us. The conditioning is why certain people feel familiar to us and why we have a “type” that we’re attracted to. The impulse we feel towards someone is simply a recognition of something that was already stored within us, whether it aligns with certain beliefs we have about ourselves, core wounding from the past, or some other trigger that may still be unresolved. Many people choose the wrong partner simply because they energetically feel that chemical attraction, yet are unaware of where the pull towards that person is coming from: alignment with their true authentic selves, or an alignment with a conditioned pattern (more on this topic in my upcoming eBook).

For example, I was the type of person who always attracted emotionally unavailable men. Somehow I found myself in constant patterns of being attracted to a man who couldn’t meet my deepest needs for love. It was the same heartache and outcome but with different men. I couldn’t understand what I was doing to have the same thing happen over and over again. As I was doing the inner work of raising my awareness, I came to realize that I was attracted to men who were not in the place within themselves where they were emotionally available for a committed relationship, because on an unconscious level, I was not really available for myself. I had a pattern of dismissing or downplaying my needs because deep down I felt that it was not safe to express what I needed. I feared being vulnerable because somehow that was a sign of weakness or would make me appear “needy.” I made the other person more important than myself, and was not committed to expressing my authentic truth. My inner world was reflected by the men that I drew into my life.

Having a connection and attraction towards someone, as wonderful as it may feel, can cause us to experience unnecessary heartache later in the relationship, if we are quick to assume the attraction we feel will lead to a committed relationship without really evaluating whether there is a long-term potential for a fulfilling relationship where both parties are bringing forth their true authentic selves. If we choose a partner based on our unconscious patterns, the intense chemistry is likely to keep us stuck in a mediocre relationship, or one in which we don’t feel free to fully express our powerfully vibrant selves. We will accommodate who we are in order to be more lovable or acceptable to the other. Because the attraction feels incredible, we want the relationship to work out, thus we justify certain behaviors of the other person (or lack of action), make excuses or see things with a rose colored lens, i.e. idealize the partner. It isn’t until the partner cheats, disappoints or leaves us that we realize we were with the wrong person all along.

How to Enjoy the High of the Chemistry without the Side Effects

Before you allow yourself to completely give in to that euphoric attraction, slow down. Look beyond the attraction to identify the quality of the future mate and whether the connection can develop into a foundation for a strong relationship. This requires knowing what it is that you are looking for, what your needs are and how you want to feel in a relationship. Many people say they want love, but are unaware of the motivating factors behind it; is the desire coming from the place of lack or a place of wholeness of who you are at your deepest level?

A healthy connection should leave you feeling energized and excited after spending time with the person, rather than frustrated or disappointed. For women, even if they feel great after an interaction, they still are not receiving the level of commitment they want or are having to try harder to move things forward. This is also something that should be considered when determining the quality of the connection and whether than the person is right for you.

Next time you feel that pull towards someone, please do yourself a favor and pause for a moment. Take some time to honor what you truly need and evaluate whether the other person is in alignment with your true authentic self. Bring forth your best self and expect the other to show up fully for you as well. Your heart will thank you for it!

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